PROJECT AUTHORS:


Dietmar Offenhuber is Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in the departments of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Art + Design, where he heads the MFA program in Information Design and Visualization. He holds a PhD in Urban Studies from MIT, and degrees from the MIT Media Lab and UT Vienna. His research focuses on the role of data representations in urban governance and civic discourse. Dietmar published books on the subjects of Urban Data, Accountability Technologies and Urban Informatics. In his artistic practice, Dietmar frequently collaborates with the sound artist Markus Decker and composers Sam Auinger and Hannes Strobl under the name "stadtmusik." His artistic work has been exhibited internationally in venues including the Centre Georges Pompidou, MoMA New York, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Anthology Film Archives NY, Sundance and the Hong Kong International Film Festivals, ZKM Karlsruhe, Secession Vienna, and the Seoul International Media Art Biennale.


Nick Beauchamp is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University and a member of the core faculty of the NULab for Texts, Maps and Networks. He received his Ph.D. from New York University in 2013, and prior to Northeastern was on the faculty of the Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences program at Columbia University. He works in the fields of US politics (political behavior, campaigns, political psychology, social media) and political methodology (quantitative text analysis, machine learning, bayesian methods, networks). His recent work has examined the interplay between speech, belief, and behavior in legislatures, campaign advertising, and online communication. His current projects include examining deliberation and long-term opinion change online; predicting state-level polling using Twitter textual data; predicting and explaining Supreme Court decisions using the text of legal briefs; and developing experimental methods for optimizing the persuasive effect of text treatments such as political advertisements.


Christoph Riedl is assistant professor for Information Systems at Northeastern University. He holds appointments at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business and the College of Computer & Information Science. He is a core faculty at the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. He is also a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) at Harvard University and a fellow of the NASA Tournament Lab. He is recipient of a Young Investigator Award (YIP) for his work on social networks in collaborative decision-making. Before joining Northeastern University he was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Business School and IQSS. He received a PhD in Information Systems from Technische Universität München (TUM), Germany in 2011, a MSc in Information Systems in 2007, and a BSc in Computer Science in 2006. His work has been published in leading business and computer science journals including Management Science, Communications of the AIS, and International Journal of Electronic Commerce, and conferences including the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS).


Armin Akhavan has a BA in Urban Planning from Tehran University, Iran, an MS in Urban and Regional Policy from Northeastern University, and is currently studying for a MFA in Information Design at Northeastern. Since 2013, he has been working in projects ranging from scenario modeling, land-use planning, and data mining/predictive analysis to data visualization, web development and design. He is interested in working on web-based application projects aimed at perpetuating civic good. His other interests include interactive front-end design, web-mapping, and database development for web.

Menam Art Map

ENAM Art Map is an interactive visualization of the institutional connections, life trajectories and centers of prominent members of the Middle Eastern art scene exhibiting in the west. The geo-spatial network representation is based on information extracted from a large corpus of artist biographies.




Each individual biography is a subjective self-representation shaped by the artist's personal emphasis, but also by the embedded values, expectations and institutional politics of the art world. A biography is a portrait that highlights certain aspects and omits others. By itself, a single biography is of limited value for understanding how artists of Middle Eastern origin enter in international art scene, or how the notion of Middle Eastern art is constructed through the international art institutions. But if several hundred biographies are aggregated and analyzed as a text corpus, common features and patterns start to emerge. By identifying dates, locations, personal trajectories, and institutions such as museums, galleries, festivals and academies, we hope not only to investigate the relationship on the MENAM art scene with the international art world, but also to reveal characteristics of the institutional context these artists are embedded in.

MENAM Art Map is an experiment in what literary scholar Franco Moretti calls " Distant Reading" using computational means such as natural language processing and network analysis. It represents the first stage of a project dedicated to the analysis of text-networks at the Center for Texts, Maps and Networks at Northeastern University, Boston.


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